Former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has said despite his misgivings about the current state of affairs in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he will not defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Fayose stated this while addressing key members and stakeholders of the PDP in Ado Ekiti, on Monday.
The former governor also reiterated his support for Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in his ongoing battle with the PDP leadership and presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar.
The leadership of the PDP had been making efforts to garner the support of the Rivers State Governor for its presidential candidate, while Wike has been indifferent to the party’s activities since he lost the presidential ticket to Atiku and was also not considered for the vice presidential slot.
The governors of Lagos, Ondo and Ekiti States, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Rotimi Akeredolu and Kayode Fayemi had in the company of Mr Fayose visited Rivers State apparently to woo the governor to the APC.
Although rumours had it that Wike was considering dumping the PDP ahead of the 2023 presidential election, the governor came out to deny it.
However, Mr Fayose said on Monday that despite his support for the Rivers State Governor, he will work for Atiku in the forthcoming presidential election.
“A lot has been said, but like I have said many times, let me state it here expressly again that I will never join APC for whatever reason.
“In all the issues we are having as a party, no one has said that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is not our presidential candidate. No one has said too that Dr Ifeanyi Okowa is not our party’s vice presidential candidate.
“Also, we have Senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly candidates here. Among them is my biological son, Joju, and others who are my political sons and daughters. My interest is that all these candidates should win elections.
“Therefore, I am appealing to those who are angry to stop being angry. Those who are fighting should stop fighting. Let us face the 2023 elections together and win first. After that, we can resume the fight,” the former governor said.
The PDP candidate in the last Ekiti State governorship election, Bisi Kolawole, used the meeting to thank party members for supporting him during the election.
“Even though we lost, I am still grateful to the party for the opportunity and I wish to urge all the party stakeholders to close ranks so that together, we will rise again,” he said.
The state acting chairman, Lanre Omolase, who spoke on behalf of the State Working Committee members, affirmed their belief in Fayose’s leadership, saying that those plotting against him should sheath their swords in the interest of the party candidates who are standing for elections next year.
Others who spoke at the meeting were former acting governor of the state, Tunji Odeyemi; Secretary of the Elders Council, Idowu Odeyemi; PDP leader in Ado Ekiti, Lamidi Alaketu; Lateef Ajijola, who spoke for the National Assembly candidates; Anjorin Olarewaju, who spoke on behalf of the House of Assembly candidates; Olufemi Babatunde, who spoke for Local Government Party Chairmen and Bukola Oyewusi.
Others who were at the meeting include Funso Ayeni, senatorial candidate for Ekiti North; Lere Olayinka, Yinka Akerele, Joju Fayose and Adenike Jennifer, House of Representatives candidates for Ekiti Central II, Ekiti North I, Ekiti Central I and Ekiti South II.
Also at the meeting were 10 out of the 16 local government party chairmen and over 150 ward chairmen and other party members.